Thursday, March 9, 2017

Favorite Fabrics

Which one of us doesn't have an attachment to certain fabrics? I know I'm not alone here. I developed a love for 1800s reproduction prints shortly after I started quilting in 2001. At that time it was often difficult to find many in the shops I frequented but I grabbed them when I could. Since I was pretty much already set on making small quilts I never bought yards and yards of one fabric. What on earth would I do with that much? I was making simple little quilts from scraps.

I tend to use a lot of my favorite prints over and over in my quilts, mixing the old with the new. When I started collecting, some of it was just fabric I liked and not necessarily authentic reproduction prints. Soon I started hoarding some of them because as you all know fabric gets discontinued much too soon to make room for new lines. You fall in love with a certain print after you begin using it in your quilts (which is usually never right after you buy it) and suddenly you like the way it "plays" with your other fabrics - then six months later you can't find it anymore. Grrrr.

This is my favorite "old" fabric right now. I fell in love with this blue print YEARS ago. Who knows why? Perhaps. like real love, it just grows over time. This fabric has to be at least 10 years old, maybe more, and is not an actual reproduction print but one that plays well with my other fabrics. I have no idea of the designer or company since I only had a fat quarter to begin with. For some reason, every time I used it in a quilt it made me smile. It calmed me. So I began to incorporate small pieces of it here and there whenever I could. A soft blue like this one often works well for me to "neutralize" some of the brighter colors I like to use in my quilts. Also, I really love the way it contrasts nicely with red.  I know I will never find some of these prints again because they're so old. Makes me sad when I'm running low so I always use them sparingly to make them last.  

There it is.

There it is again.

And again.

I had only a very small piece of this blue print left. Don't even remember where it all went! Probably used it to back a quilt and gave it away before I realized how much I loved it. I decided to use some of it in my Welcome Home Mystery quilt. But I still wished I had more.

Imagine my delight when I came across some of it recently! Last month I taught a workshop in Bloomington/Normal, IL.  I like to walk around and chat with students and get to know them by looking at their fabric choices for whatever quilt we're making.  One of the class members, Lynne, showed me her fabrics and OMG - there it was! She had a whole yard of it! I began to shake with excitement and asked her if she could spare some. It appeared that my favorite fabric had no particular pull for her so we traded - she gave me 1/2 a yard and I gave her one of my patterns. Each of us thought she was getting the better end of the deal, which is the way it should work. So, now I have enough to use it in my Mystery quilt. Yay! A half yard - I'm so happy! It's probably going to last me a looong time. 

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Speaking of Mystery quilts -  are you still following along with me? In March we put a border around the house block and yours should look like this by now - 

Join the Facebook group or the Yahoo small quilt group (see sidebar of blog) to get the directions.

You should also be working on making some of those square in square blocks for later. No telling exactly when you'll need to put them in the quilt - it's a MYSTERY. (Oh, look, my favorite fabric has made an appearance here too!)

I'll be back in a few days to tell you more about some of my other old fabrics. If you follow me on Instagram then you probably already know what silly thing I've done . . . . And, yes, I buy NEW fabric too.


Colleen said...

I love this post, Kathleen, because it truly spoke to me. I, too, have fabric that is old, but it's quality fabric, and I've been doing the same thing as you...trying to stretch it as far and as long as I can because I can't find it anywhere.

Thanks for all you do for us small quilt lovers. I just finished a large wall hanging (it's in my sewing room) and I need a break from the "largeness" so I'm going to be making one of your smalls :) It's so relaxing for me to make something that doesn't take weeks to complete.

Kerry said...

Sounds like me too. My favourite was found on holiday in Florida many, many moons ago when the whole world of fabric opened up - I was like a child in a sweet shop (hear heavenly chorus of angels ahhhhing)! It is a blue/grey background with tiny brown birds among some reed mace. It is only a small amount and I need something to showcase it. Biding my time. The next favourite is also of little brown birds. Peach/coral background with tiny red flowers and little green leaves. I have used some in my first top (still not completed after all these years) and then found more in a different shop - woe different dye lot so a little deeper coral colours. But it's gone into the same quilt. But hated cutting into it!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I had that fabric, only in yellow, or green maybe? Of course, I was curious enough that I had to have a snoop for it, but no sign of it ... maybe long gone, like yours. I learned years ago that if you love a certain fabric, you better buy it when you see it, because finding it somewhere else is virtually impossible! Of course, we don't usually realize how much we love it until it's too late, LOL. Thanks for the "blast from the past"! Candy

Candee said...

What a happy story Kathy. You have good quilt karma for all you do for us small quilt lovers. I totally get how excited you felt when you saw that fabric!

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

We all have those special hoarder fabrics--we save them for that special, special project

Vivian said...

It's funny you talk about favorite fabrics: one of my favorites is that stripe with buds you used for the front of your house block! It's a Jo Morton print that I originally bought in two colorways (blue and brown) used them in at least five projects (three for the back) then when I came across it in the pink colorway bought some of that too! As you say, some prints just work in everything!


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